Humboldt Bay Generating Station

Docket Number:

06-AFC-07 (Application For Certification)
06-AFC-7C (Compliance Proceeding)-->

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: October 1, 2010.

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on September 24, 2008. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Jeffrey D. Byron, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Gary Fay

Key Dates

  • September 29, 2006 - Application for Certification (AFC) filed with California Energy Commission.
  • November 8, 2006 - Commission accepts Application for Certification (AFC) as complete.
  • 11/8/2006 - Commission Declares Application "data adequate."
  • 11/29/2007 - Preliminary Staff Assessment is released.
  • 5/15/2008 - Final Staff Assessment is released.
  • 8/18/2008 - Presiding Members Proposed Decision is released.
  • 9/24/2008 - Commission approves and licenses project.
  • 10/1/2012 - Power plant on line and producing power.


On September 29, 2006, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) submitted an Application for Certification (AFC) to construct and operate the Humboldt Bay Generating Station (HBRP) in the City of Eureka, Humboldt County. As part of our review process, the staff of the Energy Commission works closely with local, state and federal agencies to ensure that all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards are met and incorporated into the final decision of the California Energy Commission.

The proposed HBRP site would be located at 1000 King Salmon Avenue, Eureka, California. This project will be located on 5.4 acres within a 143-acre parcel currently occupied by the existing PG&E Humboldt Bay Power Plant. The HBRP will be a load following power plant consisting of ten (10) natural gas-fired Wartsila 18V50DF 16.3 megawatt (MW) reciprocating engine-generator sets and associated equipment with a combined nominal generating capacity of 163 MW. The HBRP will also be capable of running on California Air Resources Board (CARB)-certified diesel fuel in order to ensure local area reliability during instances of natural gas curtailment in the region as required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and PG&E's CPUC Gas Tariff Rule 14. This project is a replacement of the existing 105 MW Units 1 and 2 and the two 15 MW Mobile Emergency Power Plants (MEPP) at PG&E's Humboldt Bay Power Plant site.

Air emissions from the proposed facility would be controlled using best available control technology applied to each engine's exhaust. Each system would consist of a selective catalytic reduction unit for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) control and an oxidation catalyst unit for carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) control. In order to be considered for licensing by the Energy Commission, the project would be required to conform with rules and regulations of the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) and be issued a Determination of Compliance from NCUAQMD.

The HBRP proposes using approximately 2,400 gallons of water per day (2.7 acre-feet/year) on average for cooling or other industrial purposes, which is a fraction of the water required for traditional combined-cycle turbine design. The generators will use an air radiator cooling system in a closed loop system (similar to automobiles). The HBRP will discharge industrial and sanitary wastewater into the Humboldt Community Services District (HCSD) sanitary sewer system at an average rate of about 860 gallons per day. Raw water for industrial processes and site landscape irrigation will be supplied from PG&E's existing ground water well via a direct connection to an onsite 6-inch-diameter water pipeline. Domestic water required for non-process uses (i.e., sinks, toilets, showers, drinking fountains, eye wash/safety showers, etc.) will be provided from a new 4- to 6-inch-diameter on-site pipeline running 1200 feet to a connection with the existing HCSD line that runs along King Salmon Avenue.

The project would be connected from the generators to the existing switchyard via two 60 kilovolt (kV) tie lines and one 115-kV tie line. No new transmission lines will be required. Natural gas would be supplied to the HBRP via an onsite 10-inch-diameter, high-pressure, natural gas pipeline owned and operated by PG&E.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

Humboldt Bay Generating Station Power Project

Public Contact: (707) 269-1810

For Questions About This Siting Case Contact:

For Questions About Participation In Siting Cases Contact:

Public Adviser
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989